Easy How to DIY Mudroom Lockers in a Small Space

August 25, 2022

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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A few years ago I transformed a cluttered closet space into functional DIY mudroom lockers. I was tired of backpacks, coats, shoes and all of my kids stuff scattered throughout the house. Our mudroom coming in from the garage and leading to the kitchen is a very small space. The only way I could achieve the gorgeous mudroom lockers so many modern homes have today, was by tearing out the coat/catch-all closet and replacing it with my vision of the perfect mudroom lockers/bench space.

Header Image

So, in “Nicole fashion”, I tore out the wall and went to work. When I have an idea, I usually give it a little processing time (very little :)  ) and then jump in with two feet. My motto: if I mess it up too badly, I have a good handyman I can call. :) This jumping in a little too quickly, can cause some regrets down the road and with this mudroom, I have one regret I’ll be sharing with you in just a bit. But first let’s look at the original layout of the mudroom lockers and how I built them….

Step One: Removing this closet…

Overly cluttered coat closet

Much better! I was amazed by how much extra space opening up this closet area gave us….

Open space from where a closet once was

Easy How to DIY Mudroom Lockers

Wood Needed for DIY Mudroom Lockers:

Room dimensions vary, therefore, I am only providing the type of wood I used…

  • 3/4″ 4ft x 8ft sanded plywood sheet (birch is another option, but will be more expensive)
  • 2×6’s (for bench and top shelf)

Essential Materials Needed:

  • Nail gun nails

Essential Tools Needed:

Design and Dimensions:

There were four functions I wanted my DIY mudroom lockers to serve: room for my three school-aged kiddos to store all of their stuff; cubbies for hats, gloves, scarves, etc in the winter and beach towels, pool bag in the summer; baskets for added storage and a dedicated spot for all the floor tools (vacuum, broom, mop).

Determining what functions you want your mudroom lockers to serve, will help you come up with the best design to fit your family’s needs. Once I had the optimal functionality narrowed down, I was ready to start the process.

First step was measuring my space and drawing out the design on paper. My ultimate goal was to achieve a custom built-in mudroom lockers look. Therefore, I designed these lockers to fit snug in the space with lots of finishing trim to fill any gaps.

I determined I wanted three lockers with hooks; a deep bench for comfortable seating; 3 cubbies; a shelf on top to hold multiple baskets and a large open space for all the floor tools.

Prepare the Space for DIY Mudroom Lockers:

Before starting on the building process, you’ll want to remove any carpet and baseboards/trim. Giving yourself a clean, empty space will make the process go much smoother.

Build the Cubbies/Base:

I cut my 3/4″ plywood to the dimensions needed to create my base.

Starting with my end vertical board (shown in the picture below: the vertical board on the far right), I then attached the long bottom board, using 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws. Working against gravity, I propped this board up with some scrap pieces. This made attaching it to my vertical end board much easier. I attached my bottom board to my vertical board about 3 1/2″ up from the bottom of the vertical board. My reason for this is, I wanted to add a trim piece across the bottom of my cubbies space….

Cubbies being built for diy mudroom lockers

Next, I was ready to start adding my cubby dividers. As shown in the picture above, I used pocket holes to attach each of these dividers to my long bottom board.

After assembling this part out in my garage, I then brought the base into my mudroom and placed it in the open space….

Base with cubbies for diy mudroom lockers

Note: Now would be a good time to paint the inside of your cubbies. This is definitely a live and learn lesson. Much easier to paint them now when they’re open and accessible than when there’s a bench on top and you have to crawl into them. :(

Attach the Bench for DIY Mudroom Lockers:

I used my miter saw to cut my bench boards. Using 2×6’s, I cut them to fit and attached each board with my nail gun….

Girl nailing in 2x's with a nail gun for a bench seat

As you can see in the picture below, I did not extend the bench all the way to the opposite wall. This open space will be for all of my floor tools….

Bench seat built with cubbies underneath for diy mudroom lockers

Build the Lockers:

And here’s my big mistake. Adding shiplap to the walls before finishing the DIY mudroom lockers. If I could do it over again, I would add the shiplap last. Here we are, four years later, and I would love to remove this horizontal shiplap and add vertical shiplap instead. But with all of these boards behind my lockers, removing them would not be an easy task. Another live and learn lesson. So, I advise you to wait til the end of the project to add any accent wall feature you may want to install….

Bench seat with cubbies and shiplap in the background

Being the visual person I am, I used scrap wood to determine where I wanted each locker….

Bench seat with cubbies for diy mudroom lockers

Once again, I constructed the lockers in my garage and then brought them into the mudroom. I cut my 3/4″ plywood as needed for each divider. Then I drilled 3/4″ pocket holes on the end of each divider. I then attached a perpendicular board for my top shelf base, using 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws. Once I brought the lockers inside and set them in place, I attached them to my bench using 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws….

 Bench seat, cubbies and locker dividers

Add the Finish Trim to DIY Mudroom Lockers:

I used 1x’s to finish all of my rough edges. Plywood is made up of several boards pressed together. So, when it is cut, you’re left with the unsightly view of rough edges. Edge-banding is a great way to cover this up….especially when building furniture. However, I wanted something a little more substantial. Therefore, 1x’s were a very good option and provided that finished, custom built-in look I was going for.

You can see in the picture below, how I trimmed out each locker. I also added a horizontal board, spanning the full length of the wall, to be able to attach hooks….

Brown bench seat with cubbies underneath and locker dividers on top for diy mudroom lockers

Ready for Paint and Stain:

Before painting and staining, I had one more step: adding the top shelf boards. I decided to use 2x’s to match the bench seat. I simply attached these boards with my nail gun and added brackets on the far right side for extra support.

Now, I was ready to paint and stain. Staining the bench and top shelf first, I used Jacobean stain. After those boards were dry, I taped them off and painted the rest of the DIY mudroom lockers with Behr Marquee White Moderne in a semi-gloss finish. To finish it all off, I added my hooks….

Diy mudroom lockers complete with bench, cubbies and top shelf

That was Then This is Now:

I loved my new DIY mudroom lockers back in 2018…

Locker space with decor and accessories in a mudroom

But that was then and this is now. As is the case with most people, my tastes have changed and I am now loving a more simplistic, minimalist look. This past winter, I gave my 2018 DIY mudroom lockers a bit of a makeover. I painted them a darker, moodier blackish blue color (Naval by Sherwin Williams). In addition, I sanded down the bench and top shelf and stained them a much lighter color….

mudroom lockers painted naval blue with light stained bench and shelf

I also spray painted the crates and the hardware a Champagne Bronze color. My plan is to take down that light and spray paint it Champagne Bronze too. Or possibly replace it altogether. But for now, I am loving this mudroom makeover. This lighter and airier feel is definitely the vibe I was going for….

Coats and decor styling a mudroom locker space

I hope you found this mudroom locker plans post to be helpful. As always, let me know if you have any questions. I love helping you turn these DIY posts into something tangible. You never know what you’re capable of until you try! You’ve got this!

Until next week,

Happy Building, Friend!!

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SOURCES: (Affiliate Links Included)


Gray baskets

Metal crates

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